Maybe you already knew that the US produces more chocolate than any other country and that each of us inhales an average of 11 pounds of the sweet, gooey stuff each year, some 1.4 billion pounds in total.

And maybe you already knew that here in the Northeast (along with the Midwest), we consume more of it than folks in the South, Southwest, West or Mid-Atlantic states.

But we’re betting you didn’t know there’s a Jewish Boston historical link to chocolate, the gustatory theme of Sweet Sounds, Gateways: Access to Jewish Education’s Big Event on Sunday afternoon, Nov. 21.

created at: 2010-11-16

Turns out that Dorchester, the former epicenter of Jewish Boston, was once home to Walter Baker Chocolate. It was founded by baking chocolate pioneer Dr. James Baker who proudly coined the term (and shameless name pun) “baking chocolate.”

Speaking of pioneers, you’ll have the opportunity at this Sunday’s Gateways event (4-6 p.m. at Mishkan Tefila in Chestnut Hill) to honor and thank three pioneers of Jewish education for our community’s children with special needs: Jennifer and Erik Bittner and Sue Schweber.

You’re also invited to sample a cornucopia of brownies and mousse, chocolate-dipped strawberries and apricots and of course the perfect classic chocolate chip cookie.

It’s enough to make old Doc Baker proud.

Tickets for “Sweet Sounds: An Afternoon of Jazz and Chocolate” ($50) are still available and walk-ins are welcome. For more on the event (or the menu!), contact Debi Golden at or 617-630-9010, ext. 113.

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